Your child experienced something that is probably your worst nightmare. You may be experiencing feelings of shame, self-blame, anger, and grief. At this time it may feel like your entire world has been turned upside down and you may be asking yourself questions such as:
- Is my child angry/acting out/having tantrums because of the trauma or because they are a child?
- Is my child going to recover or will this experience scar them for life?
- Why didn’t I see this coming and do something to prevent it?
- Am I a bad parent for getting frustrated with my child after they’ve gone through something so awful?
- Will this anger and self-blame ever go away?
During times like this look at the donut and not the hole. Your child is still a wonderfully sweet child that is capable of feeling joy and happiness. Your relationship with your child is the greatest strength you can bring to your child’s recovery. Your child’s trauma is a small part of their entire life just as the hole is a small part of the donut. Try and look at the bigger picture and find times to enjoy the donut! Take time and play with your child as though nothing has changed. You may doubt your parenting abilities at this time, but your child only needs 4 things from you that you are already great at providing! These are the 4 things your child needs to know:
- I am here. Be fully present in your child’s world and show them that you have no need to judge them.
- I hear you. Listen to your child with your eyes and ears. Listen to what is both said and unsaid.
- I understand you. Find times through both play and talk to communicate your understanding of your child’s experience.
- I care. By grasping the first three messages the child will know that you care and that is the best thing you can give your child during this process.
If you are in Tucson, Arizona and are seeking individual or couple’s therapy, call (240) 558-7198 to schedule an appointment!